THE peso hit a 20-month high against the US dollar on the first trading day of the second quarter mainly because of improving risk appetite, currency traders said.
At the Philippine Dealing System, the local currency finished 45.01 against the greenback on Monday.
It opened at 45.09, and traded to a high of 45.10 and a low of 45.01, with trading volume reaching $796.29 million.
One trader said the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) was seen gradually intervening between 45.01 and 45.04 before settling at 45.01.
However, traders said they see no change in the peso’s direction, as it will likely test the 45-to-a-dollar level. It is projected to break the 44-to-a-dollar level within the week.
At the Philippine Stock Exchange, share prices also advanced on Monday, propelled by a solid US employment report that provided an encouraging sign that the world’s biggest economy is recovering.
The local composite index rose by 0.79 percent, or 24.97 points to 3,186.77 while the broader all-shares index was up by 0.37 percent, or 7.32 points to 1,986.74.
Gainers outpaced losers 52 to 47, while 60 issues were unchanged. Total volume turnover reached 896.5-million worth P4 billion following a block sale of the shares of Jollibee Food Corp. valued at P1.39 billion.
“We were out for the last two days while America and other markets were up. We’re just catching up with the rest of the world,” said Joseph Roxas of Eagle Equities Inc.
Last week, the US Labor Department reported an additional 162,000 jobs in March, the largest job gain in three years. –LAILANY P. GOMEZ AND KRISTA ANGELA M. MONTEALEGRE Reporters, Manila Times